22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
"My child, conduct your affairs with humility." Humility is one of the most important and misunderstood virtues. Humility is NOT walking around with your head bowed down, or being quiet/submissive/weak, or downplaying things you're good at. Humility is acknowledging the truth; it's living in reality. It's an interior attitude recognizing that everything we have comes from outside of us - ultimately from God. Living out of this reality means that certain things need to be strongly fought for and proclaimed without worry of what others think (Side 1), while other times we just need to take one on the chin (Side 2). So if you're feeling daring, ask for humility this week!
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
We respect and expect hard work and dedication in so many areas of life; why should the spiritual life be any different? Jesus says to us today, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate." Are we striving? Are we even trying? Our relationship with Jesus Christ and our spiritual life require time, effort, hard work and dedication - just like anything else we value in life. The gate is narrow because it's in the shape of Jesus. If you look in the mirror each morning and ask, "Do I look like Jesus? How can I look more like Him today?" If you look in the mirror each night and ask, "How was I like Jesus today? Where can I do better tomorrow?" Then you will find yourself becoming more and more Jesus-shaped every day, and when you get to that gate you'll be just the right size!
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Athletes in the Olympic games put in endless hours of practice, pushing their bodies to the furthest limits - mentally and physically beyond what most people could handle - so that they can be the best in the world. Paul says today that all of us Christians are also in a contest and we are to "persevere in running the race that lies before us, while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus." As we run Jesus warns that we will experience push-back, adversity, that His message and our way of life will bring division because people won't like what we are doing or what we have to say - the Prophet Jeremiah was left for dead, Jesus was crucified, Paul was beheaded. But are we willing to fix our eyes on Jesus and keep running the race, no matter what kind of resistance we meet? Because that is what separates the mediocre from the great.
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Faith is not simply believing in God. If it were, then even the devil would have faith. Faith, rather, is trusting in God, trusting that He will take care of us, trusting that He will do what He says...even if it's not exactly when we'd want or expect it. Today Abraham is held up as a model of faith. Through his example, we are invited to a new way of seeing our life and the world - through the lens of radical trust in our Father. What's one area in your life where you have a lot of worry or anxiety, an area where you could use more trust? Say a prayer to God each day this week, asking for more faith, more trust, asking to see His hand at work through it all!